Tuesday’s whale watchers saw a wide variety of action. The highest rate of sightings and activity was logged on our 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales cruise, where our naturalist Ryan reported seeing a “plethora” of whales — 20 to 25 different Humpbacks. Guests aboard that cruise witnessed breaches, head lunges, and even some spy hops. At 10:00, our whale watchers saw 3 different whales, 2 breaches and even some of the Humpback’s smaller cousins, the Spinner Dolphins. When the Captain deployed the hydrophone on that trip, the guests heard some very loud vocalizations. By 3:00, the wind had come up, but our Captain aboard the Whales & Cocktails trip did report that guests saw a Humpback spouting.
Join Ocean Sports on any of our 3 daily Whale Watch Cruises departing from 2 different locations within the Hawaii Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Waters. Call us at 886-6666 ext. 103 or visit hawaiioceansports.com to reserve your adventure today.
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: Spy hopping is one of the ways a Humpback can see what’s going on above the surface of the water. Because Humpbacks have really big heads proportionally, their eyes are about a third of the way down their bodies. When the whale spy hops, she rises slowly and vertically from the water, head first. If she’s a fully grown whale, her rostrum may be 15 feet above the surface before her eyes get there!
Guests on all three of our Whale Watch cruises from both locations reported good sightings on Tuesday. Both the 8:00 Breakfast with the Whales departing from Abay, and the 10:00 Whale Watch departing from Kawaihae reported seeing 4 different whales (with the folks on the 8:00 Whale Watch reporting some dolphins accompanying the boat for awhile too)..but the highlight of each of those trips happened when the hydrophone was deployed. Both trips reported LOUD singing, and the guests aboard the 10:00 Whale Watch were able to hear 3 different whales singing. At 3:00, guests aboard our Whales & Cocktails trip not only heard a lot of singing, but also watched 8 different whales. At one point, one of the whales swam directly beneath the stern of the boat! And there seemed to be a bit of competition going on at 3:00 with some tail lobs and pectoral slaps too.
Ocean Sports provides 3 opportunities daily to see the whales, and we depart from two different locations within the Hawaii Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Waters. Please call us at 886-6666 ext 103 or visit hawaiioceansports.com
for more information.
Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: When we say we heard LOUD singing yesterday, just how loud do we mean? Well, Humpback Whales have been recorded producing sounds at around 185 decibels. Because the decibel scales use different references for sounds underwater than thru the air, that’s the equivalent of about 123 decibels for us on the surface..which is as loud as the amplified music at a rock concert when you’re standing directly in front of a tower of speakers!
The past few days have been interesting ones for us on the water. Besides the winds we encountered off and on throughout the weekend, we did encounter lots of whales…and they weren’t all Humpbacks! On Friday, guests aboard Seasmoke were amazed to see a pod of Melon Head Whales. These small toothed whales look a lot like really big dolphins, growing to about 9 feet long and weighing in at around 200 pounds with huge foreheads (thus the name) adorned by a black mask. They travel in pods ranging from about 100 animals to almost 1000, feeding on squid and small fish and though they’re permanent residents around the islands, we hardly ever see them.
Guests on Saturday’s Breakfast with the Whales Cruise got to see a huge pod of Spinner Dolphins. Known for their aerial behavior, these animals seem to enjoy interacting with our boats…surfing on the pressure waves the boat creates as we drive along the coast….and of course we did see lots of Humpbacks. On that same trip we saw at least 6 different whales, and twice had them approach our boat within about 40 yards (we stay 100 yards away from them, but they can choose to approach us if they want)! On the 10:00 Whale Watch on Alala from Kawaihae, we saw 6 whales…and several tail slaps. Sunday brought more Humpback sightings…lots of spouts and a few sounding dives complete with fluke shots.And on our Christmas Whales & Cocktails trip, we paralleled a competitive pod of 3 whales for most of the trip, even witnessing a couple of head lunges! When we did get to deploy the hydrophone on Friday and Saturday, we heard faint singing….
Which brings us to our Humpback Whale Fact of the Day: On Friday, I mentioned that we believed Humpbacks didn’t sing their distinctive songs during the times they spend in higher latitudes while feeding. Researcher Chris Gabriele was quick to send me a link to a paper he co-wrote, documenting the songs sung by a few male whales in Alaska. According to his research, the whales do sing sporadically in late summer and fall, corresponding with the beginning of seasonal hormonal activity in the males prior to their migration. Mahalo Chris, for helping to reveal another clue to explain this complex behavior!
Join Ocean Sports on any of our 3 Whale Watches departing daily from 2 different locations within the Hawaii Islands National Humpback Marine Sanctuary. Call us at (808)886-6666 ext 103
or visit hawaiioceansports.com